Saturday, October 22, 2022


 Here are two issues. The second major "cleanup" of Uniroyal from 1986-1989 and allegedly where the sludges and other wastes went and the extraordinarily convenient/weird sudden discovery of NDMA in a September 1989 water sample from Elmira's south wellfield. Heck we might even discuss the somewhat aborted 1969-1970 on-site cleanup and how the company cheaped out on that.

If even half of the toxic wastes Uniroyal claims to have been shipped off-site between 1986 and 1989 are true then the company spent millions of dollars in excavations, trucking and disposal fees presumably at appropriate  locations (Corunna, Ont.?) BEFORE the Ontario Ministry of Environment had a single water test showing that Elmira's drinking wells were contaminated. Hmm!

These efforts followed up on the 1969-1970 cleanout and lining of some pits and ponds on the Uniroyal site. Supposedly the west sign ponds/lagoons were emptied of sludges and then clay lined. The clay is supposed to have come from a farm north of Elmira.  Boy would I like to examine that farm for any large holes in the ground. Hmm or perhaps Uniroyal kindly refilled those gaping holes with some of the toxic filth that they claimed to have sent to Corunna. In fact most of the reports listed in my last Thursday's post here state only that sludges and wastes were removed/excavated whereas Conestoga Rovers on behalf of Uniroyal claim that they were shipped off-site. I believe that there is all of one claim that they went to Corunna, Ontario  site of an expensive toxic waste site, with real clay at depth beneath the wastes. I say real clay at depth because the clay brought from "...a  farm north of Elmira" didn't cut it. Estimates of leakage out the bottom AFTER the clay lining of the west side ponds and lagoons was 3,400 litres per day by both Morrison & Beatty and CH2MHILL consultants. Good work there Uniroyal. 

At the same time the two "Consolidation Pits" on the east side (RPE-4 & 5) were allegedly lined with some kind of plastic liner. These are known to be susceptible to both chemical and mechanical rupture.  As was mentioned earlier  here ( Thursday October 20, 2022 ) metal drums being dropped haphazardly into the allegedly newly plastic lined RPE-4 & 5 likely ruptured. I would suggest that they also likely pierced the plastic liner. Other issues include Uniroyal's penchant for half hearted excavations. Every bucketful costs extra money in time, labour, transportation and disposal fees. These half hearted excavations include admissions to CPAC from employee Jeff Merriman that the company excavated until they could neither see nor smell contamination. This was ridiculous as long time employess during on-site visits with the public usually could NOT any longer smell the stench on site that visitors could. Proper testing at the limits of excavation were not done.   

Other on-site "cleanup" issues include various pits  and ponds requiring further excavation and cleanup years later AFTER allegedly being done professionally in the first place. I apologize to readers for using the word "professional" in the same sentence as Uniroyal Chemical or any of its' corporate successors. Perhaps a better choice of words might be "bought and paid for" regarding cleanup efforts. AFTER the 1986-1989 excavations at RPW-5, 6, 7 the Ministry of Environment advised and found DNAPL  at the bottom of those ponds. Maybe it was six inches below the ground surface and Jeff and friends could not see or smell it. A similar problem with RPE-3 on the east side. Same with TPW-2 (tar pit west).  Excavations to remove some DNAPL occurred in the fall of 1993 at both RPW-5 and at TPW-2. We were advised at the time that wastes remained at TPW-2 but that one they were intermingled with municipal wastes from the closed on-site municipal landfill (M2) and that further excavations to finish the job could undermine the supports of a nearby tower or tank on site. The history of BAE-1 (Burial Area 1) south and east of RPE-5 is similar. It was supposed to be part of the 1969-70 consolidation of toxic buried wastes from the site. Instead only some of the buried drums in it were put into RPE 4 & 5 whereas others were actually reburied nearby in pits RB-1 and 2. So lets get this clear. Thousands of drums of toxic liquids and sludges were buried in BAE-1 between the early 1950s and 1970. Then some of them were put into RPE-4 & 5 and others reburied into RB-1 & 2.  Finally we are advised by Conestoga Rovers (CRA) on behalf of Uniroyal Chemical that BAE-1, RB-1 & 2 were excavated in 1987 and shipped off site. WHERE? No mention of that. One of the reports agrees with CRA and that is CH2MHILL. The Terreaqua report (Aug. 1987) actually suggests that RB-1 & 2 still contain drums as of that date. The other two reports R. Hillier (1990) and Jackman (1985) do not mention RB-1 & 2 at all??? What the heck??? Granted the Jackman (1985) report was done prior to the alleged excavation and off-site shipment. 

There are other issues. As per the Terreaqua report "Reburial and other re-disposal practices have seen the transportation of wastes to many locations at the site (some of which are unknown)." WOW!  Another discrepancy in the reports is CRA's claim that RPW-6 & 7 were cleaned out and shipped off-site in the mid 1980s whereas CH2MHILL's report states that they were merely cleaned out (not shipped off-site) in the SUMMER OF 1989, one month prior to the MOE deciding decades too late to test Elmira's drinking water for NDMA. A skeptic could be forgiven for wondering if CRA/Uniroyal had a serious and pressing reason for the public to believe these wastes were long gone before the MOE's stunning announcement of contaminated drinking water in Elmira. A skeptic could also be forgiven for wondering if CRA were practicing "wishful thinking" with their repeated claims of "off-site disposal". So far I've only found one other report that only confirms one of these many excavations actually being shipped off-site. Hmm could it be that no paperwork was ever provided to third parties proving off-site disposal in the 1986-1989 "cleanup"? Is it possible that even if it were off-site disposal that Uniroyal Chemical, the masters of cheap toxic waste disposal, didn't send the wastes to a properly licensed toxic waste landfill? Maybe even NOT to any type of licensed landfill??? 

None of this is idle speculation. Do I have an idea where some of this MIA (missing in action) toxic wastes ended up? Yes I do and there is both circumstantial and witness evidence for that. There are also some unusual photographs that need explaining. To date Uniroyal and corporate successors with the full hearted support of all the guilty political authorities at several levels have managed to stifle debate and real public consultation. Confronting cowards who hide behind almost equally guilty political bodies and who have a ton of money to then hide behind our courts is difficult. Finally keep something in mind. In the extremely unlikely scenario of Uniroyal/Lanxess being able and willing to produce strong evidence that their toxic wastes ended up in Corunna or a better location; they still have a problem. Exactly how much of their toxic wastes did they send off-site? 10% or 50% or more or less?  If they produce strong and reliable evidence of say 100,000 tonnes of waste being sent to Corunna (eg.) then where is the rest of it? And if they actually cleaned up only to the standard of visual and human smell  did they then require further ongoing in ground containment or remediation? I believe that there is evidence of this ongoing "remediation" that requires discussion and clarification from the current wholly dishonest public communicator, Lanxess Canada.   

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